G.W. Gras

Senior Writer for The Bears Brawl and Lead Host of The Bears Brawl Podcast.

“In For the Long Haul”

Earlier this week, Kyle Long tweeted out “Bear For Life.”

Sometimes players just tweet things to tweet things. To get a cheap buzz or receive praise from a fan base. But then, there are players like Kyle Long, who put his money where his mouth is – literally.

Kyle Long has come to an agreement with the Chicago Bears to restructure the four year deal he signed in 2016, to ensure that he plays in Chicago for the next two seasons. Long was to be paid $8.5 million this season, which is a pretty steep price for a 30 year old guard who has been, unfortunately, injury-prone.

Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America

When Long was drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft, for many it was a head scratching selection, especially considering that Long was appealing for an extra year of college eligibility which was denied by the NCAA. Usually players that apply for an extra year of college do so as to “bet on themselves” and put themselves in a better position for when it’s time for them to enter the NFL – but it didn’t matter to the Bears.

What followed after that, were three Pro-Bowl seasons for Long – that was the good. The bad has come in the last three years, in which Long has not played a full 16 game season. Some may see it as bad-luck, but others – the more pessimistic crowd (i.e. me) would call it “injury prone.”

Regardless, Long has always proved to be a “team-first-guy.” A leader on the field and off the field, he has shown a soldier’s mentality when it comes to protecting his quarterbacks behind him. He was always in Jay Cutler’s corner when the sports-media-world would try to assassinate Cutler’s demeanor and character – and since day one, Long has prided himself on protecting the team’s young franchise quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky.

This latest act, shows just how “all-in” Long truly is, with the Bears.

Long will be making $6 million in salary, compared to the $8.9 million he was due for next season, but according to Ian Rapoport, he can make $2.5 million in incentives. The Bears will also have a team option on Kyle Long in the 2020 season.

This provides a little more flexibility for the Bears in this off-season but more importantly protects the Bears against a potentially sloppy break up between the franchise and the player.

It’s obviously more of a win for Chicago to have this deal restructured, but for Kyle Long the win is guaranteeing himself another year with the team he wants to be with by realizing his realistic- worth at this point in his career.

G.W. Gras
Twitter @GeeSteelio